Monday 26 September 2016

Yarndale 2016

I think I've finally recovered from my hangover.  I've been bingeing on yarn at Yarndale and it's taken me a few days to get back to normal.  We had a fabulous time at the festival.  It was just as busy as last year and so many lovely stands.  Everywhere you turned there was yarn.  It was heavenly.

Having dieted for so long, it was wonderful to just go and overindulge.  I largely kept to the wish list I had made before we set off but I did slip in quite a few treats.  So here's my collection of loveliness.

Isn't it wonderful.  I didn't spend as much as last year but I feel I spent my money more wisely this year.

Grace went with me again and this is her collection.

I bought some gorgeous skeins for shawls.

I love the colours and patterns of the Cuddlebums yarn, on the left.

This pretty sock yarn had to come home with me.

I also bought this lovely British Wool DK weight yarn for a cardigan.

The yarn colour is called turquoise but it actually looks greener than in the above photo.

I topped up my purchases with other bits and pieces that I can use in Fair Isle and I also bought an undyed skein of yarn that I want to dye up myself, which should be fun.

At Yarndale we met up with Instagram friends for a picnic.  The weather was a bit cool and there was no sign of the sun, but the meet up was fun so that was all that mattered.

I received lots of lovely compliments on my Lily the Pink cardigan which was very pleasing.

So now I'm going to be working my way through my haul.  Plenty to keep me quiet for a long time to come.  I'll also still be busting the stash I already had - that's an ongoing mission.  The day after we got back from Yarndale, I finished this shawl.

It was knitted with the last of the untouched yarn that was bought at Yarndale last year.  I love the colours in the yarn, so I'm currently using the leftovers to make some fingerless mittens.  Details of the shawl project can be found on Ravelry, here.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and if you were at Yarndale, I hope that you managed to bag yourself some loveliness as well.

Saturday 17 September 2016

My Very Own Craft Room

Thank you all so much for your good wishes following my husband's retirement.  We're settling into a pleasant routine, helped by the lovely warm weather we had last week.

As a result of his retirement, I have taken over the room he used as his "study" and it's now been re-designated as my "craft room".  I had the foresight to decorate the room bright pink some years ago, so it was as easy process to convince him that he wouldn't want to use the room after his retirement.

I have collected together all my crafting bits and bobs.  They were previously scattered (hidden) around the rest of the house.  I must admit that I shocked myself at how much "stuff" I actually had.  Craft books alone fill most of the shelves in the bookcase.  I found so many duplicate items that I had bought that had been stored and forgotten about.  All I can say is it's a good job that I have spent this year de-stashing my yarn, because I would never have been able to fit it in the room otherwise.  It's certainly made me appreciate having a more streamlined yarn stash.

My mini sweater bunting is decorating the walls, and it's lovely to see all the different yarns and remember what I originally knitted with them (mostly socks).

There's still some more organising and tidying to do before I'm happy with everything and can remember where I've stored various things.

And because I'm no good at being disciplined, I bought three more craft books this week!  I'm going to struggle to fit them in the bookcase, but they were only £1 each, so I couldn't leave them.

There's something interesting in all of them.

This week I have finished the cardigan I was knitting.

Most of my cardigans are cropped or just below the waist length.  This is my preferred style for cardigans as I tend to wear dresses and skirts all the time.  Occasionally I wear jeans but I don't have any longer cardigans to wear with them, so this boyfriend-style cardigan fills a gap in my wardrobe.

It's in worsted weight yarn that had been frogged from a previous unloved cardigan and the pattern is a free one by Vanessa Townley.  You can see full details of this project on my Ravelry page, here.

 I'm now working on a shawl with the last of the unused yarn that I bought at Yarndale last year.

I love the colours.  The pattern is for a two colour striped shawl, but I'm just working with the one colour throughout.  It's semi-circular and the body of shawl is in stocking stitch with a lace edging.  The pattern is from a book by Kirsten Kapur and is called Cladonia.  I'm hoping to get this finished over the next week before Yarndale.

Finally, as well as the craft books, I bought some fabric this week.  I wanted something to make dresses and skirts for the Autumn.  I ended up with two fabrics, one for a skirt and one for a dress.

Dress fabric

Skirt fabric

I don't think I'll have time to make a completed outfit this week, but I'm hoping that I can get the dress cut out - ever the optimist.

Oh and finally, finally, I just remembered, Grace gave some some amazing fabric when I saw her recently.

Isn't it fabulous, Paddington Bear is my favourite character from my childhood and I still have all my books.  This fabric will be made into a tote bag for a knitting project.  Something else I'd like to get done this week - so long as I can find more hours in the day.

Well I had better get a move on if I want to get everything done.  I hope you all have a happy and productive weekend.  Bye for now.

Monday 12 September 2016

Exciting Times

September has proved to be a very eventful month so far.  At the beginning of the month my husband retired.  It was something we've been planning for quite some time, but even so, it's a big change in our lives which we are going to have to get used to.  The plan is for lots of holidays and days out, but I'm sure we'll settle into a slower routine over time.

As a celebration of his retirement, we had a holiday away with our daughters for a week. It's been a while since we've all been away together.  As a reminder of holidays gone by, we booked a holiday cottage in North Wales, in Pwllheli to be exact.

It was a wonderful week, I enjoyed every minute of it.  We had some lovely walks around the coastal paths on the Llyn Peninsula.  The landscape is amazingly beautiful and rugged.

Hell's Mouth

Mynydd Cilan

We had a paddle in the sea at Abersoch.

So cold!

And I was quite emotional at finding the gravestone of one of my ancestors in the church yard in the village of Llanengan.

Llanengan Church

Lovely old pub in the village of Llanengan

It was all over far too quickly, but now that work is a thing of the past, I'm looking forward to lots of time away.

Our holiday cottage

The cottage we stayed in was lovely, but the internet reception was poor so I'm trying, this week, to catch up.

Before I went away, I finished my Fair Isle cardigan.

I love the colours, but I'm a bit annoyed with myself that I didn't check my gauge properly.  The cardigan is a lovely slim fit, but maybe a bit too snug on the sleeves.  Never mind, it's still wearable but would be just that little bit better if there was a little bit of ease around the arms. Details of this project can be found on Ravelry, here.

I also completed the button-through skirt I had been wanting to sew.

I used leftover fabric from a dress I had made last year and buttons recycled from an old dress.

I was so pleased with how easy the button holes were to make.  I'll definitely have to make more of these skirts.

It's less than two weeks to go until Yarndale and I'm so looking forward to it.  My knitting mojo has deserted me lately and I suspect that the stash busting has had an impact on this.  It will be lovely to have an injection of new yarn.  I'm sure that will get the creative juices flowing again.  In the meantime, I'm knitting up a cardigan in some frogged yarn - not very inspiring but I've only got one more sleeve to do.  I'm now busy dreaming of the new yarn that'll be coming home with me shortly.

Have a good week everyone.